Talk Like a Leader

Talk Like a Leader
Tips, techniques, and insights for more effective leadership communication. Learn to apply powerful communication strategies to coach, inspire, and resolve conflict situations as a leader.

Coaching Isn’t Telling: A Lesson Learned the Hard Way
Sep 15 • 9 min
This week, I’ll explore the idea coaching a team member for improved performance and offer a better way than telling people what you want them to do.
Leading Remotely: The Importance of Intentionality
Sep 8 • 13 min
This week, I’m revisiting and building upon a piece of advice that my colleague Wayne Turmel shared in an episode we recorded in March of this year – When You Suddenly Find Yourself Leading Remotely. The specific issue is the need for more intentionality…
Chronic Conflict: It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
Sep 1 • 11 min
In this episode, I’ll share a lesson from cleaning my garage that will help you address the chronic conflicts you face as a leader.
More Than Techniques - The Importance of Character
Aug 25 • 8 min
As you work to develop your communication techniques to better Talk Like a Leader, I encourage you to consider the importance of character development on both your growth as a leader and your ability to communicate as one. In this episode, I’m…
Be Patient and Persistent
Aug 18 • 10 min
I cover some ideas about human nature and our mindset towards others that can help all of us navigate past this common issue to communicate better.
Speak to Actions and Results Rather Than to Character and Intelligence
Aug 11 • 6 min
This week we’re looking at a better way to speak about performance in coaching and feedback conversations rather than attacking character and intelligence.
How the DISC Model Can Cause Problems for You
Aug 4 • 7 min
I’ll look at how improper application of the DISC model can create problems for you and what you can do instead to use it for better results.
Avoiding Confirmation Bias - Stay Curious
Jul 28 • 10 min
Something we all share is the problem of confirmation bias. This week, we’ll take a look at confirmation bias and consider two ideas for combating it.
The Coaching Mindset with Carl Smith - Cautious Style
Jul 21 • 11 min
This is our final episode in a 5-part series of conversations about the coaching mindset. Carl Smith is my guest, and we discuss the contribution Cautious style people bring to coaching conversations. As in the other episodes in this series, we…
The Coaching Mindset with Carl Smith - Supportive Style
Jul 14 • 10 min
Carl shares what he has learned as a Supportive style coach and I share some observations about how to be a better coach for people with Supportive traits.
The Coaching Mindset - Inspiring Style
Jul 7 • 10 min
Carl Smith and I use the DISC model for understanding and discuss what it means to be an Inspiring style coach and how to coach Inspiring team members.
The Coaching Mindset - Dominant Style
Jun 30 • 11 min
Carl Smith and I get more specific about coaching mindsets. We discuss what it means to be a Dominant style coach and how to coach team members.
The Coaching Mindset with Carl Smith
Jun 23 • 12 min
This episode starts our 5-episode series on the coaching mindset and how mindset effects our coaching with our friend and fellow coach, Carl Smith.
What Mindsets Do You Use to Form Your Frames?
Jun 16 • 12 min
In this episode, I continue my conversation with Kevin Eikenberry about the importance of how you frame a problem. Specifically, the meta-frame.
The Importance of How You Frame a Problem with Kevin Eikenberry
Jun 9 • 11 min
In this episode, Kevin Eikenberry joins me to discuss how you frame a problem when you communicate and work with others to solve the problem.
Provide Data Both Accurately and Honestly
Jun 2 • 7 min
I’m looking at the idea of presenting data in a way that will elicit a stronger emotion than appropriate for the situation by manipulating the presentation.
Learn to Listen Accurately
May 26 • 11 min
When you learn to listen accurately, you can maintain the emotional control needed to respond appropriately without over OR under reacting.
Learn to Speak Accurately
May 19 • 7 min
It’s difficult to balance between overstating and understanding a problem. In this episode, we’ll talk about how to speak accurately and why you should.
Make Yourself Accessible
May 12 • 8 min
In this episode, I’ll share what happens when you aren’t accessible, what that means to you as a leader, and perspective on why it matters.
Beware of Transferred Aggression
May 5 • 11 min
As a society, we are now well in to the first shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While I can’t foretell the future exactly, it appears that it could happen again before the pandemic runs its course. So, we need to develop skills to help us…
Fix the Problem Not the Blame
Apr 28 • 10 min
It’s easy to drift toward finding the person to blame. In this episode, we’ll look at how to focus on fixing the problem rather than on fixing blame.
Be Sensitive to Your Team’s Environment
Apr 21 • 8 min
If you suddenly find yourself working remotely, remembering that your team members are no longer in the office is an important thing to remember.
Provide Context When You Share Data
Apr 14 • 9 min
In this episode, I’m talking about questions you need to address when you need to communicate data to other people on your team.
Business Critical or Personal Desire
Apr 7 • 9 min
As we confront the stresses and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and what we must do to adjust, it’s easy to commingle our personal wishes and desires about the way we wish things were with the actual demands of the environment in which we operate. When…
Understanding Time Perspectives - People Orientation
Mar 31 • 12 min
This conversation with Carl Smith about time perspectives continues this week. This is the third of three episodes related to how people view and communicate about time. In this episode, Carl and I will explore ways that people with a primary people…
Understanding Time Perspectives - Task Orientation
Mar 24 • 13 min
This week, we continue the conversation with Carl Smith about time perspectives that we started two weeks ago. In this episode, Carl and I will explore ways that people with a primary task orientation view time, how they can be misunderstood, and how…
When You Suddenly Find Yourself Leading Remotely
Mar 17 • 19 min
As businesses around the country make quick adjustments to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, many people suddenly find themselves leading - at least for a short time - a remote team. This week, my guest is co-founder of , Wayne Turmel. Wayne shares…
Different Ways That People View Time
Mar 10 • 12 min
Not everyone views time the same way, and those differences can become major drivers of stress, frustration, and conflict. This is the first of three episodes where and I explore different perspectives on time and how leaders can better navigate…
The Do’s and Don’ts of Coaching Conversations
Mar 3 • 10 min
When we try to coach people towards higher performance, it’s easy to get frustrated and to make some common coaching mistakes. In this episode, I’ll define the difference between coaching and discipline and give you three do’s and don’ts of coaching…
The Pancake Theory of Communication
Feb 25 • 7 min
In honor of National Pancake Day, I’m discussing the Pancake Theory of Communication. How is communication like a pancake? What can we learn about communication from pancakes? Tune in to find out. Additional Leadership Resources Take our free ….
Championing Change
Feb 18 • 12 min
Change is emotional, and change is a choice. As leaders, we hope to help others make the choice to change rather than feel like they got forced to change. Using the four levers of change and learning a simple communication strategy can help you to…
Speaking of Change
Feb 11 • 11 min
Change communication is a topic that nearly warrants its own podcast. It’s complicated, it’s messy, and it has lots of conditional issues to consider. And, it’s worth talking about on this podcast. In this episode, I’ll lay out some starting thoughts…
Impact of Trust
Feb 4 • 14 min
Carl Smith and I continue our conversation on building trust. This week, we’ll discuss less the process of building trust and more the impact of it with specific examples from our experience that illustrate the importance of knowing the order to…
Thoughts on Building Trust
Jan 28 • 14 min
Different people think about and approach building trust in different ways. In this episode, Carl Smith and I discuss the two sides of trust and how understanding them can help you build trust with more intentionality. Additional Leadership Resources …
What it Means to Talk Like a Leader with JJ Brun
Jan 21 • 18 min
In this episode I’m excited to welcome my long time friend and colleague JJ Brun to the podcast. JJ is a communication and relationship expert from Canada who served as an intelligence offer for the Canadian Forces in Bosnia. He has a great…
With or For Rather than To
Jan 14 • 8 min
I recently re-read what has become a leadership classic - Leadership and Self-Deception. It reminded me of the ways we interact with others as objects rather than as people. It also reminded me that how we use words can both influence and reveal how…
Three Communication Resolutions
Jan 7 • 10 min
As we enter a new year, the idea of reflecting on the past year and thinking about changes for the new one are on many people’s minds. Two weeks with grandchildren has given me a refreshed perspective on leadership communication that leads to three…
Think Beyond THIS Conversation
Dec 31, 2019 • 10 min
As we look forward to next year, many people reflect on the past and set goals for the future. This time of year can lead to focusing on specific time frames like the first quarter or the next year. This finite approach can be useful for improving…
These Ideas Work with Family Too
Dec 24, 2019 • 9 min
Today, Christmas Eve, marks a day when many people will either be with family or about to be with family that they do not see on a regular basis. In family situations where your guard is down a bit, it is easy to slip into old and possibly negative…
What It Means to Talk Like a Leader with Don Mann
Dec 16, 2019 • 13 min
This week, I have the honor of speaking with retired SEAL Team 6 member, adventure athlete, and NY Times best selling author Don Mann. Don has long experience in both leading and following other leaders in many varied and, in some cases, extreme…
The Power of Questions
Dec 10, 2019 • 8 min
Leaders often know exactly what they want done and how they want it done, and telling people what to do is not likely to invite cooperation and enthusiastic engagement. Questions are better than statements for engaging people and inviting them into…
Overcoming Other People’s Perceptions of You
Dec 3, 2019 • 10 min
Leaders often find themselves in the position of having their motives and intentions misunderstood and misinterpreted. In today’s episode, I’ll share one specific example of how to overcome potentially negative perceptions people have of you and…
Focusing on Gratitude to Talk Like a Leader
Nov 26, 2019 • 9 min
Finding ways to stay positive, encouraging, and supportive rather than negative, critical, and judgmental of others is a powerful strategy in your leadership communication tool box. One way to develop your ability to stay on the positive side of…
Leadership Communication Mindset with Carl Smith
Nov 19, 2019 • 12 min
How you think about your communications with others - your intentions and mindset - will make a big impact on your long-term communication effectiveness. In this episode, Carl Smith and I briefly explore the impact of your communication mindset and…
Managing Expectations and Building Trust with Carl Smith
Nov 12, 2019 • 12 min
Unmet expectations - spoken or otherwise - can lead to dissatisfaction and damaged trust. Damaged trust can, in turn, can slow communication and results. Using the DISC model, you can better understand, and manage, expectations in order to build and…
Accept, Approve, and Appreciate Others
Nov 4, 2019 • 9 min
How we think about others affects how we interact with them, and how we interact with them often reveals how we think about them. This week, I’m covering three actions we can take towards others that will improve both how we think about them and how…
Unintentional Threat Triggers - Cautious Style
Oct 29, 2019 • 9 min
This episode is the final episode of a 4 episode series looking at the ways each of us communicate and interact with others that can unintentionally create the perception of threat in other people. This week, I’m focusing on both sides of the…
Unintentional Threat Triggers - Supportive Style
Oct 22, 2019 • 9 min
This episode is the looking at the ways each of us communicate and interact with others that can unintentionally create the perception of threat in other people. This week, I’m focusing on both sides of the interactions involving people with…
Unintentional Threat Triggers - Inspiring Style
Oct 15, 2019 • 9 min
This episode is the looking at the ways each of us communicate and interact with others that can unintentionally create the perception of threat in other people. This week, I’m focusing on both sides of the interactions involving people with…
Unintentional Threat Triggers - Dominant Style
Oct 8, 2019 • 9 min
We all communicate in ways that “trigger” other people. If you have Dominant style communication traits , you can unintentionally cause a perception of threat for people who don’t share this trait with you. If you don’t have Dominant traits, you can…
How Do You Talk to Yourself?
Oct 1, 2019 • 9 min
We all have an inner voice, and we talk to ourselves. If this voice is negative, it can create problems for you as a leader. This week, we’ll consider how you talk to yourself and how you can make that internal dialogue more positive and productive….
Five Ways to Deescalate Conflict
Sep 24, 2019 • 8 min
In this episode, I’ll package together five conflict resolution strategies in one place. This episode compiles single points I’ve made in other places into one full package you can use to improve your conflict resolution skills. Additional Leadership…
Communicate in a Way that Does NOT Convey Threat
Sep 17, 2019 • 10 min
There are things that all of us do that subtly and unintentionally create a feeling of threat in other people. When we do that, our communication effectiveness plummets. In this episode, I’ll share three places where we can unintentionally “threaten”…
Three Things to Consider in Written Communication
Sep 10, 2019 • 10 min
Today’s episode focuses on written communication and three things to consider (plus a bonus idea or two) before you write your message. As leading in a remote or non-geolocated environment becomes more and more common, considering how we communicate…
Listening - The Other Side of Communication
Sep 3, 2019 • 9 min
While this podcast is titled “Talk Like a Leader,” my real intent is to explore all the different ways we can become better communicators. In this episode, I’m looking at the listening side of communication. We’ll briefly explore both the barriers we…
What It Means to Talk Like a Leader with Eric Levos
Aug 27, 2019 • 11 min
Inviting other people to share their perspective is something that I love to do on this podcast. This week, my long-time customer, colleague, and friend, Eric Levos joins me to discuss what it means to Talk Like a Leader. Eric is a former First…
Three Things to Consider Before You Choose a Communication Technique
Aug 20, 2019 • 9 min
As a leader, you will communicate with people in many different ways and in many different situations. You’ll be in meetings, in coaching conversations, and responding to emails. The general principles of communication apply equally to all of these…
What it Means to Talk Like a Leader with Kevin Eikenberry
Aug 13, 2019 • 11 min
Leadership expert, , joins me on this episode to discuss what it means to talk like a leader. Kevin has both deep and broad experience in both leading and helping leaders develop. Listen in as he shares both his perspective on what it means to and…
Stay Positive, Avoid Negative
Aug 6, 2019 • 9 min
When we interact with other people, observe other people, and think about other people, we can go either positive or negative. If we focus on the negative, we likely experience more of it. If we focus on the positive, we likely experience more of…
Talk About What You DO Want
Jul 30, 2019 • 9 min
Many types of communication that come naturally and easily to us are not necessarily the best or most effective ways to communicate our vision, desires, and expectations. Some things that seem natural and normal actually diminish clarity and…
Why Use Communication Models and Why I Use DISC
Jul 23, 2019 • 9 min
Recently, a listener asked why I use the and what I think of other models. Great question! In this episode, I’ll share my thoughts on the general value of using communication models to become a more effective communicator. I’ll also address why I use…
What Talking Like a Leader Means to Me
Jul 16, 2019 • 9 min
In this episode, Guy shares what talking like a leader means to him. After several episodes focused primarily on the skills of leadership communication, Guy shares his perspective on combining the right mindset, habitset, AND skillset to learn how to…
Using the Power of Apology
Jul 9, 2019 • 10 min
Many people struggle with apologizing when it could move a difficult situation forward. It’s often said that leaders should never apologize and that apology weakens your position. The contrary is actually true more of the time. Apology strengthens…
What It Means to Talk Like a Leader with Tom Butera
Jul 2, 2019 • 15 min
In this episode you’ll learn from an experienced manufacturing leader, Tom Butera. Tom has been my friend, colleague, and customer for 16 years now, and I’ve had the privilege to learn with and from him better ways to lead and communicate. I’m excited…
Three Ways to Deal with an Angry Person
Jun 25, 2019 • 11 min
At some point in your leadership journey, probably at several points, you’ll need to deal with a person who is angry. Common natural responses like withdrawing or getting angry typically don’t work well. They often result in the person becoming more…
Watch What You Say (About People)
Jun 18, 2019 • 8 min
You’re probably pretty good about what you say when you’re with people. You’re on your game. You’re positive, encouraging, and considerate. The question to consider for this episode is this: What do you say about people when their not around? Are you…
What NOT to Do with the DISC Model
Jun 11, 2019 • 10 min
Communication and behavior models like the are great tools for building, communicating with, and inspiring your team. Used appropriately, they can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your communication efforts. Used inappropriately, they…
Learn to Manage Expectations
Jun 4, 2019 • 10 min
When experience does not match expectations, people get frustrated, stressed, and angry. Frustrated, stressed, and angry people rarely work with energy and enthusiasm. They seldom bring their best problem solving skills to work with them. What can you…
Focus on the Future
May 28, 2019 • 9 min
A common challenge leaders face is the tendency to drift into past focused conversations when trying to solve problems or coach team members. A key skill to develop is the ability to move the conversation to a future focus. In this episode, Guy talks…
Try to Relate to Your Opponent
May 21, 2019 • 9 min
When you find yourself in a conflict situation, it is tempting to “go on the attack” to make your point. Winning the argument can take center stage in your mind. And, that approach rarely ends well for either person. In this episode, Guy will explore…
How to Empower by DISC Style with Carl Smith
May 14, 2019 • 11 min
This is the last of five episodes where I discuss the Four E’s of Leadership (, , , and Empower) with my friend and colleague . Carl is a Master Trainer of the , and he brings a long history of training and coaching leaders to this conversation. In…
How to Equip by DISC Style with Carl Smith
May 7, 2019 • 12 min
, Master Trainer of the DISC model, returns to continue our conversation about the Four E’s of Leadership (Engage, Encourage, Equip, and Empower). In this episode, we first explore the difference between Equipping and . Then, we discuss how to Equip…
Keep Learning and Searching with Carl Smith
Apr 30, 2019 • 10 min
My conversation with Carl continues in this episode. In this episode, we discuss what each of us is learning as we are recording this series of conversations. We discuss what we are hearing and learning from each other. I hope this episode encourages you…
How to Engage by DISC Style with Carl Smith
Apr 23, 2019 • 11 min
Carl Smith, Master Trainer of the DISC model, returns for the second conversation triggered by the conversation Carl and I had the first time he visited. In this episode, we explore how to Engage people based on their DISC communication style. This…
How to Encourage by DISC Style with Carl Smith
Apr 16, 2019 • 11 min
Carl Smith, Master Trainer of the DISC model, returns for a conversation about how to Encourage people based on their DISC communication style. This conversation is the first of a series of five conversations triggered by the conversation Carl and I had…
What It Means to Talk Like a Leader with Carl Smith
Apr 9, 2019 • 12 min
Carl Smith is a Master Trainer of the DISC Model of Human Behavior. He has helped leaders at all levels learn better, more effective communication skills for over 20 years. He teaches, trains, coaches, and develops training resources to enable people to…
The DISC Model of Human Behavior
Apr 2, 2019 • 10 min
A critical skill for learning to Talk Like a Leader is seeing a situation and framing your communication from the perspective of the other person. Tools that help you get outside your own perspective so that you can see things from another person’s…
Question What You Know is True
Mar 26, 2019 • 10 min
It’s incredibly tempting to run with what you know before you investigate and inquire. It’s easy to fill in gaps in understanding with assumptions based on your past experiences, and it can be disastrous for communication effectiveness with your team.…
Six Questions for Collaborative Communication
Mar 19, 2019 • 10 min
Leading a team meeting, coaching a team member on their performance, setting goals with people, and resolving conflicts are all collaborative problem-solving conversations. Collaboration can be difficult – especially when emotions are high, time is short,…
Three Ways to Irritate Others and How to Correct It
Mar 12, 2019 • 10 min
In your Leadership journey, you will inevitably have to speak with someone who is irritated or angry. While you can’t avoid the situation entirely, you can learn to minimize the risk that you will be the one to aggravate the situation. In this episode,…
Emotions are the Barrier to Change
Mar 12, 2019 • 10 min
When you take a Leadership role, you enter the change game. Change is a constant for people who aspire to lead. If you want to get better and creating change, you’ll need to get better at communicating about the change and helping others to both embrace…
Data Tells and Stories Sell
Mar 12, 2019 • 6 min
Learning to Talk Like a Leader often means learning how to sell, and how you speak – what you speak about and how you say it – often makes the difference between getting buy-in and creating frustration. In this episode, you’ll learn a key concept for…